You may have seen the mind-blowing Ames illusions before, but has anyone ever explained how they work?
The Ames Window illusion was introduced to the world by Adelbert Ames Jr way back in 1946. A rectangular-shaped window has an object place through it. The window rotates on its central axis and, from a particular angle, it appears as though the object miraculously moves through the solid portions of the window.
It sounds complicated, right? Well, it's not really, it's just a trick of perspective. You see, the window is a trapezoid, not a rectangle, so when it's spinning, our eyes think that it is oscillating between less than 180 degrees instead of rotating 360 degrees.
The object in the middle, however, does appear to turn 360 degrees. Our eyes see this object as breaking the laws of physics by travelling through the solid window. It's very cool!
Another spectacular illusion from the same creative scientist is the Ames Room. You may have seen these at theme parks or on TV. Basically, from the point of view of a specially located peep-hole, the room appears to be a regular rectangle. But, when you add people, suddenly things take on a different theme. One person may look much larger than the other, even though they appear to be standing side-by-side.
It's all about perspective, and the Ames Room is actually a carefully designed hexahedron. You may be scratching your head, and I don't blame you. So, to make both the room and window illusions easier to understand, Derek Muller from the Veritasium channel on YouTube digs deeper for the answers.
Prepare to have your mind-blown!